Birth of Israel

Former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, July 1, 2012

Yitzhak Shamir, who led Israel for two terms as prime minister, has died at the age of 96.

The statesman, who was 96, is to be buried on Monday. His body will lie in state at the Knesset until then.


How Israel's 1948 struggle inspired Nelson Mandela

By Simon Rocker, May 17, 2012

When Nelson Mandela was on the run from the South African authorities in the early 1960s, one of the safe houses he used belonged to a Jewish Communist called Wolfie Kodesh.

It was there that the great anti-apartheid leader read about other liberation struggles, among them The Revolt, Irgun head Menachem Begin's account of his war against the British in Palestine.


Why Ben-Gurion cooked eggs for Ze'ev Jabotinsky

By Simon Round, May 3, 2012

It started with the surreal image of a legendary Zionist leader cooking an omelette for his greatest rival.

When celebrated Israeli writer AB Yehoshua heard about the culinary summit between David Ben-Gurion and revisionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, he was inspired to write a play about the encounter. It receives its first English-language performance in London next week.


Tributes to Israeli Prime Minister's father Benzion Netanyahu

By Jennifer Lipman, April 30, 2012

Israeli politicians have paid tribute to the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after his death early this morning.

Benzion Netanyahu, who was 102, was a personal aide of the r evisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jab o tinsky. A passionate Zionist and a professor of Jewish history, he was known for his academic research into the Spanish Inquisition.


Celebrations in Israel as Jewish state turns 64

By Jennifer Lipman, April 26, 2012

Celebrations have begun to honour 64 years since Israel's declaration of independence.

Israelis across the country will be visiting national parks, holding barbecues, parties and other events to mark Yom Ha'atzmaut, which started on Wednesday night as the annual day of mourning for the country's fallen came to a close.


Toulouse widow lights candle at Israel memorial ceremony

By Jennifer Lipman, April 25, 2012

The widow of the rabbi murdered in last month's shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse has taken part in a ceremony marking Israel's day of remembrance for its fallen.

Eva Sandler lit the memorial candle at a Jewish Agency ceremony in Jerusalem, held a little over a month after her husband and two sons were gunned down by Islamist Mohammed Merah.


Six words before the Palestinian UN bid

By Jennifer Lipman, September 20, 2011

As the world looks to New York to see whether the Palestinians will apply for unilateral statehood, human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Centre have a message to share.


Statesman Abba Eban's wife Suzy dies in Israel

By Jennifer Lipman, September 16, 2011

The wife of the legendary Israeli Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, has died at the age of 90.


Yitzhak Shamir's wife Shulamit mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, August 1, 2011

The wife of Israel's seventh prime minister has died at the age of 88.

Shulamit Shamir, who was born in Bulgaria in 1923, is survived by her husband Yitzhak.

He led Israel for two separate terms as prime minister, between 1983 and 1984 and between 1986 and 1992.


On this day: Arthur James Balfour

By Daniel Walters, July 25, 2011

Arthur Balfour was best known for his 'Balfour Declaration' of 1917, a publication which supported the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This was published during his time as Foreign Secretary, during the First World War.

The publication made him hugely popular with Jews all around the world, with the JC at the time calling the declaration a "Jewish triumph".